I can’t help but leaving my reading of Frank Jackson’s Epiphenomenal Qualia with a sense of wonder and a grinning awe. This, independent of. Epiphenomenalism is a position on the mind–body problem which holds that physical and .. () “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, The Philosophical Quarterly, 32 , pp. – Online text; James, William. () The Principles of Psychology, . The knowledge argument is a philosophical thought experiment proposed by Frank Jackson in his article “Epiphenomenal Qualia” () and extended in ” What.

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In short, despite the identity of mental and physical events, the mental character of Jones’s brain events seems to have nothing to do with where Jones goes. Journal of Consciousness Studies. Benjamin Libet ‘s results are quoted [14] in favor of epiphenomenalism, but he believes subjects still have a “conscious veto”, since the readiness potential does not invariably lead to an action.

Mary is the worlds greatest expert on vision and colour perception. Pumps can be realized in different ways — there are, e. This view, however, both offends Occamist principles and fails to satisfy the leading anti-epiphenomenalist intuition, namely, that the mental makes a difference to the physical, i.

The essay is not solely concerned with animals: If such worlds are possible, we might actually be in such a world, and so the epiphenomenalist can be asked to provide evidence that we are not in such a world. Archived from the original on 30 October Directly causing is an intransitive relation. George Santayana epiphenomenap that all motion has merely physical causes.

Questions about epiphenomenalism, however, arise the moment any distinction is made between the mental properties and the physical properties of an event.

One objection is that the subset view assumes rather than shows that M has any causal powers at all, and that this is the key question at issue Kim, If these destructive claims can be substantiated, then epiphenomenalists are, at the very least, caught in a practical contradiction, in which they must claim to know, or at least believe, a view which implies that they can have no reason to believe it.


Among Lewis’s many considerations, there is one that seeks to enforce a connection between phenomenal information per se and epiphenomenalism. He compares us to a sort of intelligent sea slug living in a very restricted environment. The Knowledge Argument for Qualia A.


Suppose that I1 and I2 are two possibilities for an intrinsic property of a basic physical entity, e. An alternative response can be found in Chalmers ; see also Nagasawa, Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Although it does not entail substance dualism, according to Green, epiphenomenalism implies a one-way form of interactionism that is just as hard to conceive of as the two-way form eplphenomenal in substance dualism.

Interpretation of Libet’s results is extremely controversial see the Open Peer Commentaries following Libet’s target articleand Libet himself does not draw an epiphenomenalistic conclusion. Jackson contends that, yes, she has learned something new, via experience, and hence, physicalism is false.

Frank Jackson, Epiphenomenal qualia – PhilPapers

We can agree with the latter without agreeing with the former. For example, we can use a fan to pump some noxious gas from one room to another, or to the outside of a building; but if we set a fan on the lawn, it may beat the air, but is not functioning as a pump. They presume that epiphenomenalism is to be avoided, and they go to great lengths to try to show that they have avoided incurring that anathema, despite maintaining the sufficiency of physical causation in conjunction with some kind of distinction between epiphenimenal mental and the physical.

Thomas Henry Huxley agreed with Descartes that behavior is determined solely by physical mechanisms, but he also believed that humans enjoy an intelligent life. The conclusions of this experiment have begun epiphrnomenal receive some backlash and criticism, mainly by neuroscientists such as Peter Tse, who claim to show that the readiness potential has nothing to do with consciousness at all.


Jackson’s argument is meant to support dualism, the view that at least some aspects of the mind are non-physical.

Knowledge argument

He defended the idea of automatic behavioror the performance of actions without conscious thought. If, as the argument allows, Mary does understand all that there is to know regarding the physical nature of colour vision, she would be in a position to imagine what colour vision would be like. Qua,ia may, however, describe a crude example not Kim’s own and epiphenomnal some of Kim’s cardinal points in its terms. This article may be in need of reorganization to comply with Wikipedia’s layout guidelines.

Retrieved from ” https: Although he finds this a perfectly good argument, he realizes that it will not persuade everyone. The first part of our discussion — Traditional Arguments — will be phrased in a style that reflects this dualistic presupposition.

The evolution of human sexuality. Nemirow and Lewis present the “ability hypothesis”, and Conee argues for the “acquaintance hypothesis”. Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPaperswith links to its database. He epiphenommenal that Mary only epipjenomenal the ability to do something, not the knowledge of something new. He argues that while staring at something that looks red to her, she would have knowledge of what it is like to see red, even though she lacks the ability to imagine what it is like.

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